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9th Circuit to Hear Recall Arguments Today

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Governor Gray Davis and the candidates vying to replace him are preparing for a final two-week campaign push, hoping a federal judicial panel will reinstate the October 7 date for the California recall election.

An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments today in San Francisco. Some court observers think the judges will overturn last week´s ruling by three of their colleagues that the election must be postponed.

An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is likely no matter how the larger appeals panel rules.

At issue is whether outdated punch-card voting machines for about 40 percent of California´s registered voters who live in four counties can be used. They are to be junked by early next year and replaced by modernized electronic voting systems.